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December 6, 2022
Saudi officials are seizing rainbow-coloured toys and articles of clothing from shops in the capital as part of a crackdown on homosexuality, state media reported.
A report by the state-run Al-Ekhbariya channel showed commerce ministry officials removing a range of items from shops in the capital Riyadh. Such items included rainbow-coloured bows, skirts, hats and pencil cases, most of which were meant for young children, according to BBC News.
“We are giving a tour of the items that contradict the Islamic faith and public morals and promote homosexual colours targeting the younger generation,” an official from the commerce ministry said. Shops found to be selling them will face legal penalties.
In a separate incident, the commerce ministry in a tweet announced the confiscation of “products that contain symbols and signs calling for deviation and contradicting common sense.”
Homosexuality is punishable by death or flogging in the nation. It is also illegal for men to behave or dress like women, and vice versa, and for anyone to carry out online activity impinging on “public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy.”
Saudi Arabia has garnered much attention over their restrictions on films that depict same-sex relations.
In April, the kingdom said it had asked Disney to cut “LGBTQ references” from “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” in which one character refers to her “two moms.” Disney has refused to remove the 12-second scene. Due to this, the film was not allowed to screen in Saudi cinemas.
On Tuesday, a source close to Disney said that Disney’s latest animation “Lightyear,” which features a same-sex kiss, has also been banned in Saudi Arabia, along with more than a dozen other countries.
While Saudi Arabia has not yet acknowledged such a ban, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) culture ministry said Monday that it had banned Lightyear “due to its violation of the country’s media content standards.”
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MIDDLE EAST EYE